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Seward

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Seward ("SOO-word")[1] is a small port city (population ~2,700) located at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska. Seward was named in honor of William H. Seward, President Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State, who was responsible for negotiating the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.

Understand[edit]

4th Ave., Seward, Alaska

Founded in 1903 as the ocean terminus of what is now the Alaska Railroad, Seward prides itself, not only on its natural beauty, but as Alaska's only deep-water, ice-free port with rail, highway and air transportation to Alaska's interior and major urban population centers.

For local events and news see SewardCityNews.com [2] Sewards citizen journalism website.

Seward’s highlights are:

  • Kenai Fjords National Park [3]
  • Sport fishing- Salmon, Halibut, Ling cod, Salmon Shark
  • Glacier and Wildlife Day Cruises
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Hiking and Mountain Biking trails
  • Quaint and Quirky Towns People
  • 4th of July Celebrations
  • Silver Salmon Derby
  • Cruise Ship Terminus, Alaska Marine Highway Service [4]

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Seward is located 127 road miles south of Anchorage. The Seward Highway[5] is a very scenic 2.5-hour drive from Anchorage to Seward, but can be slow in peak summer.

By train[edit]

The Alaska Railroad[6] offers daily rail passage between Anchorage and Seward in the summer, May 13 to Sept 14. The trip between Anchorage and Seward -- the Coastal Classic -- is arguably its most scenic section, and you can take the train one-way. The train parallels the Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm, but also heads up into the mountains away from the road, past glaciers and alpine meadows you won't be able to see by car. Adventure Class (with shared access to older vista dome railcar) Round Trip/One Way fare: $119/$75 adults, $59/$38 children (2-11); GoldStar Service (New Dome Railcar) Round Trip/One Way fare: $219/$130 adults, $110/$65 children.

Passengers are required by TSA to check-in at the ticket window (one hour before at Anchorage, 30-45 minutes before at Seward) and show a government issued photo ID (for those age 18 and older) to receive boarding passes. If you have luggage (2 pieces max), it must be checked through to your destination. At depots, boarding for trains occurs 20-30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.

Southbound

  • 6:45AM - Depart Anchorage Depot - 411 West 1st Avenue
  • 11:05AM - Arrive Seward Depot - 410 Port Avenue (short walk to small boat harbor; about 1/2 mile to cruise ship dock)

Northbound

  • 6:00PM - Depart Seward Depot
  • 10:15PM - Arrive Anchorage Depot

By bus[edit]

The Park Connection[7], 1-800-208-0200, offers twice daily bus service between Anchorage and Seward in the summer, mid-May to mid-September. Check in 15 minutes prior; luggage 2 pieces max. In general, the trip by bus is faster than by train, but slower than by car.

Southbound

  • 7:00AM - Depart Anchorage - Egan Center: $55
  • 9:45AM - Arrive Seward Small Boat Harbor
  • 3:00PM - Departs Anchorage Museum: $65
  • 5:45PM - Arrive Seward Small Boat Harbor

Northbound

  • 10:30AM - Depart Seward Small Boat Harbor: $65
  • 1:30PM - Arrive Anchorage Museum
  • 6:30PM - Depart Seward Small Boat Harbor: $55
  • 9:30PM - Arrive Anchorage Museum

By ship[edit]

The Dale R. Lindsey Alaska Railroad Seward Intermodal Terminal ("cruise-ship dock" to locals), 913 Port Ave, is where cruise ships moor. Ships tie up directly to the dock, and no tenders are used to transport guests between the ship and shore. The Alaska Railroad uses this facility for freight.

From May to September, about 50 ships arrive and depart Seward's port as part of the popular 7-14 day Alaska cruises, round-the-world itineraries, and special charter cruises.

Get around[edit]

Seward is a great place to walk around. A walking tour map may be obtained here[8]. For those needing a ride, here are some options.

  • Summer Shuttle Bus, 907-224-4020, is operated daily by the city of Seward[9] during the summer months when the cruise ships are in town. The shuttle makes a half hour loop starting at the cruise ship dock to the Alaska SeaLife Center and back. $5 pp, good for entire day.
  • Tide Water Taxi (907) 224-3505. Water taxi servicing Resurrection Bay, Kayakers Cove, Alaska State Park Cabins and elsewhere.[10]
  • Hertz of Seward, 907-224-4378. Rentals for a day or longer with one-way drop off in Anchorage available.
  • Seward Bike Shop, 411 Port Ave., 907-224-2448, sewardbikeshop.com. Rents bikes by the hour or day. There is a bike path along the water from the harbor to the front of town.
  • PJ'S Taxis, 907-224-5555, [11].*

See[edit][add listing]

Up close at Exit Glacier
  • The Sealife Center, 301 Railway Avenue, (907) 224-6300, Toll-free: (800) 224-2525, [12]. Aquarium and research facility featuring marine life of the Gulf of Alaska.
  • 4th of July Mount Marathon Race, three miles up and down, complete with cliffs, waterfalls, and loose sharp rocks, a great Alaskan event
  • Exit Glacier, Exit Glacier is the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by road. Here you can stroll the trails, walk very close to an active glacier or take a ranger-led walk. It is a place where you can witness up close how glaciers re-shape a landscape and learn how plant life reclaims the barren rocky land exposed by a glacier's retreat.

Do[edit][add listing]

Kayaking[edit]

  • Adventure Sixty North, 907-224-2600, [13]. Seward Alaska's year round outfitter providing Great guided sea kayaking trips, near and around Seward Alaska. Offers sea kayak rental and gear rentals. Explore glacier regions,Heli Kayak Tours, Heli Kayak Dog Mushing Tours, Heli Hiking Bear Glacier, Aialik & Holgate glaciers view sea life and wildlife, orcas, puffins, otters, eagles, bears, and more! 4hr trips full day excursions, overnight sea kayaking adventures, call for water taxi information and local shuttle service. "Let your adventurous spirit be your guide". Join one of our half day or full day and multi-day fully guided or guided rental adventures! Trips Daily!
  • Exit Glacier Guides, 907-224-5569. [14]. Daily Ice Hiking tours on Exit Glacier. Shuttle out to the glacier $9, crampons and equipment provided.
  • Liquid Adventures, 13990 Beach Dr., 907-224-9225, [15]. Professionally guided kayaking trips throughout Kenai Fjords National Park.
  • Kayak Adventures Worldwide, 328 3rd Ave. [16]. 907-224-3960. Small, personal shop located right downtown and specializing in environmentally friendly and educational kayak trips. All abilities welcome. Trips to Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. Everything from half-day adventures to week long expeditions.
  • Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking Co.,907-224-4426, [17]. Specializing in half-day, full-day and multi-day kayaking and hiking excursions in Resurrection Bay, Fox Island and Kenai Fjords National Park. Paddle the shoreline of Caines Head State Recreation area watching for sea otters and harbors seals. Explore Sunny Cove State Marine Park and the coast of Fox Island combined with a wildlife/whale watching cruise and salmon bake. Watch a tidewater glacier calve into the sea while paddling through bergy bits at Holgate Glacier. Explore the beauty and solitude of Aialik Bay or Northwestern Fjord on a fully outfitted multi-day excursion. No experience necessary.

Boat Tours[edit]

  • Kenai Fjords Tours (KFT), +1-907-224-8068 (toll free: +1-888-478-3346, ), [18]. A wide range of tours from the Captain's Choice (9 hour) for $194 to the Fox Island Dinner Cruise (3 hours) for only $64. The National Park Tour (6 hour) catamaran tour for $144 is the most popular. The Northwestern Fjord Tour Explores 150 miles or marine wildlife, sea birds and tidewater glaciers for $174. (9 hours) Meals are provided on all tours. Chicken wraps on the boats, and Fox Island tours include an all-you-can-eat salmon and prime rib buffet. Spend the night on Fox Island or go for a kayaking adventure. Specials are sometimes available online.  edit
  • Major Marine Tours, +1-907-224-8030 (toll free: +1-800-764-7300), [19]. Full & Half Day Cruises into Resurrection Bay and the Kenai Fjords National Park for wildlife, whale watching & glacier viewing. All cruises are hosted by uniformed rangers and feature a junior ranger program for kids. Large tour boats with reserved table seating inside heated cabins. Enjoy our freshly prepared all-you-can-eat salmon and prime rib meal. Free full-color National Park guide for each adult. Daily departures from early May through September.  edit

Fishing[edit]

  • Charter Option, 1408 4th Ave., 907-224-2026, [20].
  • The Fish House, 1301 4th Ave, (907) 224-3674, [21]. Provides rod, reel, and tackle, along with their local techniques that will improve your chances of catching dinner.  edit

Biking[edit]

  • Seward Adventure Company, 907-Do-A-Ride, [22]. Specializing in guided backcountry mountain bike trips and road tours. Also offering winter "fat bike" or "snow bike" tours on Exit Glacier Road as well as fat bike rentals. Experience the wilderness of Chugach National Forest, Exit Glacier, and Alaska's best mt. bike trails. Suitable for all skill levels, includes transport from Seward, bike rental, helmet, snacks and hydration.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Brown & Hawkins Mercantile, 907-224-3011,the local North Face, Mountain Hardware, Patagonia, Carhart outdoor wear store. Located on 4th St. in historic downtown Seward, Alaska

Resurrect Art Coffee House Gallery, 320 3rd Ave., 907-224-7161. Historic Landmark. Local original art and gifts. Friendly baristas, excellent coffee. Live Jazz Tuesdays all summer.

Softly Silk, 416 4th Ave., 907-224-6088, [23]. Original Hand-painted Silks.

Helly Hansen of Seward, 1304 4th Ave., 907-224-4589, [24]. Good all weather gear for Alaskan travel.

Sweet Darlings, 907-224-3011, [25]. Alaskan Confectioners - Makers of Alaska's Finest Handmade Candies, Fudge, Chocolates, Berry Bark and Candy. Don't forget the GELATO! Made on the premises fresh daily.

The Fish House/True Value Hardware, 907-224-3674, across from the small boat harbor. The place to go for local charter and fishing info, gear, tackle, etc. One giant building is split between the fish house and the hardware store. If it can be had in Seward, most likely you'll find it here.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are a ton of great places to eat in this little town; from hearty breakfast joints to fine dinner dining.

  • Exit Glacier Salmon Bake, 907-224-2204, Mile 1/4 Exit Glacier Rd, [26]. Great low key place with good food and pitchers of beer.
  • Peking, 907-224-5444, 338 4th Ave, [27].
  • The Railway Cantina, 907-224-8226, 1401 4th Ave. Excellent tacos and burritos.
  • Christo's Palace, 907-224-5255, 133 4th Ave., across the street from the Alaska Sealife Center. The widest selection of quality food in town. Great pizza, pasta, Mexican, seafood and full bar.
  • Apollo Restaurant, 907-224-3092, 229 4th Ave., [28]. Great food and Delivery Pizza.
  • Peking Restaurant, 907-224-5444, 338 4th Ave. Great food and Local owners.
  • Bakery at the Harbor, 907-224-6091, 1210 4th Ave., [29].
  • Chinooks Waterfront Restaurant 907-224-2207, 1404 4th Ave, [30]. Great place for lunch, dinner or drinks. Beer, wine and full bar.
  • Ray's Waterfront, 907-224-5606, 1316 4th Ave. Very Good food, especially the seafood. Good view. Most entrees are $20 - $30
  • Resurrection Roadhouse, 907-224-7116, [31]. After a day of exploring, unwind at the Resurrection Roadhouse which features great dining and Seward's largest selection of brews on tap.
  • Lombardo's, 907-224-4433, 308 N. Harbor St.. Calzones, Gyros, Baklava, and more.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Sea Bean Cafe, 225 4th Ave, 907-224-6623. Cozy little cafe with new Macs and free Wi-Fi. Locally owned and oporated.
  • Yukon Bar, 4th & Washington, 907-224-3063. Classic place. Look for the dollars pined to the ceiling by all the other visitors. In the summer catch a show by Local Hero Hobo Jim [32].
  • The Pit Bar, Mile 3.5 Seward Hwy, 907-224-3006. A wild place, even for locals, this place is just on the other side of the city limits and stays open until five in the morning. Go after two to see a kind of carnival.
  • The Ale House, 215 4th Ave Seward. A small place that has a great selection of specialty beers on tap and by the bottle.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Camping[edit]

  • Waterfront Park, Ballaine Boulevard, (907) 224-4055, [33]. Tents $8, RVs $12 , Utility sites $25. Right on the water, this is your best bet for paid camping spot. Use the self-registration stations at campground entrances.
  • Exit Glacier Road, There are many small off shoot roads where one can park a van or camper.
  • Across the Bay, Take Nash road around to the other side of the Fjord. Good camping spots north and south of the ship yard.
  • Miller's Landing, Lowell Point (End of Lowell Point Rd, at beach), 907-224-5739, www.millerslandingak.com. Tent camping sites, full service RV sites (including beachfront), showers, laundry, general store, free wi-fi. They also run a water taxi, fishing charters, and kayak guiding and rental services. Extremely "rustic" place with very friendly staff, all Seward locals!

Hotels[edit]

  • Hotel Seward, 221 5th Ave., 907-224-8001, [34].

Wonderful boutique hotel in Historic Downtown Seward. 2 blocks away from the Alaska SeaLife Center, and across the street from all downtown shopping and restaraunts. One of a kind 'wilderness' lobby and historic photo display. Also features "Gene's Place," Hotel Seward's Victorian inspired lounge with light fare cuisine.

  • Hotel Edgewater, 200 5th Ave., 907-224-2700, [35].
  • Seward Windsong Lodge, Mile 0.5 Exit Glacier Rd, 907-224-7116, [36].
  • Alaska Saltwater Lodge, PO Box 695, Beachfront Road, 907-224-5271, [37]. This place on Lowell Point Road.
  • Exit Glacier Salmon Bake Cabins, Mile .4 Exit Galcier Rd, 907-224-2204, [38]
  • Murphy's Alaskan Inn, 911 Fourth Avenue (4th & D), (907) 224 8090 (800) 686 8191, [39] [murphys@seward.net] Small, clean and very friendly hotel. Close to everything.

Hostels[edit]

  • Moby Dick Hostel, 432 3rd Avenue, (907) 224 7072, [40]. A small and extremely friendly hostel.

Vacation rentals[edit]

  • A Cabin on the Cliff, P.O. Box 312, Seward, AK 99664, Telephone: (907) 224-2411 or Toll Free 888-227-2424, [41]. Create life long memories at our rustic Seward trappers cabin that has been refurbished to romantic elegance. Enjoy spectacular views of Seward Alaska's Resurrection Bay and Chugach Mountains from your private hot tub located on a spacious deck while barbequing your fresh caught seafood on the barbeque. Open Year Round!
  • A Cottage on the Bay, 13710 Beach Dr, Lowell Point, (888)334-8237 or (907)224-8237, [42]. Three bedroom home on private beach 3 miles south of Seward. Sleeps 8-10. Have breakfast on the deck with eagles and watch the sea otters swim by.3% sales tax
  • Otter Cottage, 13695 Beach Dr, Lowell Point, (888)334-8237 or (907)224-8237 ,[43]. Two story home for nightly rental May through September. Hot tub. Sleeps up to 8-10.3% sales tax
  • Orca Island Cabins, Humpy Cove Resurrection Bay, (888)494-5846, (907)491-1988, [44]. Remote yurt style cabins located on private island in Resurrection Bay, Fully equipped cabins with unmatched views and amenities, kayaking is available from the island with guides or kayak rentals for experienced kayakers. Unbelievable!
  • Bear Cub Cabin, 13695 1/2 Beach Dr, Lowell Point, (888)334-8237 or (907)224-8237 ,[45]. Two story cabin with sleeping loft. Propane heat, stove and instant hot water on demand. Sink and small refrigerator. Microwave and coffee maker. Outhouse is about 20' behind the cabin. $79/night Sleeps 2 adults comfortably. Sleeping bags included. 2% sales tax. A major upgrade from a Park Service Cabin or tent !
  • Victorian Serenity Cabins, 14000 Shady Lane, Lowell Point, 1-866-239-3637, www.victorianserenity.com. 3 small and cozy cabins with lofts, on Lowell Point not far from the beach. Full service, all amenities.

Get out[edit]

Seward is a great gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. If you want to spend a bit more money to really get out there, consider staying at some of the wilderness camps in Resurrection Bay.

Wilderness Lodges[edit]

Sometimes you want to go someplace just a little more remote than a small town....if you do, consider staying at these wilderness lodges. You will need to take a water taxi or float plane to reach these, but they are truly stunning.

  • Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, Telephone: Toll Free 800-334-8730, [46]. All-inclusive lodge with activities such as beach combing, kayaking, and hiking.
  • Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, Telephone: 877-777-4053, [47]. Located on Fox Island in Resurrection Bay; hiking, kayaking, relaxing.
  • Kayakers Cove, Telephone: 907-224-8662, [48]. This is more of a do-it-yourself lodge with private cabins available as well. You bring your own food and beverages, as well as a sleeping bag. You have use of their kayaks to explore the Thumb Cove area.




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